She made me do it!

So, just the other day (about 12 years ago) I heard one of my mentors mention Toastmasters and I figured: “Well, if she’s doing it, it must be cool!” So I joined. 

I soon realised: “Aha! It’s public speaking! I’ll stay because it will help me prepare my speeches better.” And yeah, few months later she nudged me to take up an club committee role, and another one after that and another after that. Of course each time I (begrudgingly) agreed with a big smile. Until my most recent role of District Administration Manager, a role I put my hand up and said: “This, I want to do.”

What I thought to be an opportunity to improve my speech preparation turned out to be a pivotal part of my leadership development. As I reflect on my journey I can resonate with Steve Jobs that dots only connecting backwards. I encourage you to put your hand up and take on a leadership role. 

I connect the dots and realise that I owe a great deal of my business leadership to the real skills I’ve learnt through the roles I’ve taken up within Toastmasters. 

My year as Administration Manager in particular has: 

  1. Reminded me: “It’s true, I really really don’t like Administration”.
  2. Made me realise: “It’s 2018, there’s an automated system available for EVERYTHING”.
  3. Taught me: “People are our greatest asset, ask for help”.

I’ve met friends who have become family and crafted relationships I treasure for life. None of this would have been possible had I come to the club meeting to only do my speech, go home and repeat it again next month, without ever stepping up to take on that very first leadership role. So put your hand up. Take on a role. 

It’s been a privilege to serve with the Cabinet team of 2017/2018 and all the leaders across District 74. 

A special tribute to Beth Thomas DTM PID, whom as a young man said to me; “You need to do Toastmasters!”





 Thabo Malefane, ACG, ALS